Meet up with Our Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin Twins

On Oct. 7, the Small Mammal House team celebrated the arrival of golden-headed lion tamarin twins! They are the very first of their endangered species born at the Zoo in 16 many years. Get to know the mischievous and curious toddlers from keepers Mimi Nowlin and Maria Montgomery.

Have you picked names for the twins?

Not however! The very first couple of months are a crucial time for little one golden-headed lion tamarins to bond with their dad and mom. They will have their initially veterinary test when they turn 6 months old. At that time, we will be in a position to decide their sexes and opt for names for them. Meantime, we can explain to who’s who by their physique markings. One little one has a popular white patch on its tail. The other has an abundance of gold colour through its system.

A enjoyable point about golden-headed lion tamarins is that they ordinarily give beginning to twins! At times they give start to singletons or triplets, but twins are the most popular offspring for this species. clip

What are their personalities like?

The babies’ characteristics appear to replicate these of their parents. Lola, their mother, is an outgoing and curious tamarin who enjoys interacting with enrichment and puzzle feeders. Golden Mane is like mom: playful, curious and mischievous! Father Coco tends to be more shy and reserved, and White Tail can take immediately after him they are more careful, observant and adhere close to dad’s aspect.

We typically see the infants check out the habitat alongside one another. When they do, their personal personalities really glow as a result of. They are most active among 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

How are mom and father modifying to parenthood?

These infants are the initial offspring for both equally Lola, who is 4 a long time outdated, and Coco, who is 7 yrs previous. It is regular for father golden-headed lion tamarins to have the babies and give mother a break, and Coco fulfills that purpose. Coco is always on notify when the infants take a look at the habitat—he’s a little bit of a helicopter mother or father! Lola will allow the toddlers to be impartial. When it’s time for them to nurse, she usually takes them into the nest box.

Have the babies tried out any solid foodstuff?

Of course! Though they are continue to nursing, our tamarin twins are also ingesting sound foodstuff. Golden-headed lion tamarins ordinarily start nibbling by the time they are 6 to 8 months previous. At the Zoo, they try to eat a selection of deliver, as very well as a primate gel that is fortified with vitamins and nutrients. Some of the twins’ preferred foodstuff so significantly are grapes, waxworms and corn.

Do they have a most loved enrichment toy?

At 3 months previous, they are not as enthusiastic about the toys as they are about the foods concealed inside of them. Generally, they wait for mother and dad to manipulate the enrichment item and uncover the food items so that they can sneak in and get some for them selves! Food stuff stealing is a normal tamarin conduct.  

What do you get pleasure from most about working with them? 

Above the many years, Tiny Mammal Property has welcomed 26 infant golden-headed lion tamarins. It’s a pleasure to notice their household dynamics. All loved ones members take portion in increasing the babies. As the younger improve, they master how to be tamarins from their mom and dad and older siblings. Based on the sizing of the relatives group, the eldest siblings will understand how to have the babies. Finally, they start off to share that obligation with father. It’s great preparing for parenthood in the foreseeable future!

How can I assistance conserve wild golden-headed lion tamarins?

Conservation experts estimate significantly less than 6,000 golden-headed lion tamarins are still left in their native Bahia, Brazil. The population is lowering for the reason that of deforestation. Golden-headed lion tamarins are living in tall evergreen broadleaf tropical forests and semi-deciduous forests. Much of their habitat has been cleared for agricultural use, including cattle ranching and cocoa plantations.

You can support shield golden-headed lion tamarins and their habitats! When you shop for household furniture and other décor made of wood, look at that the item is sustainably sourced (i.e. doesn’t lead to deforestation) in advance of you acquire. And, unfold the phrase! Introduce your buddies and loved ones to our tamarin twins. Discovering about these monkeys and attaining an appreciation for them can inspire other to be a lot more mindful about their buys, way too.

This tale seems in the January 2022 issue of National Zoo News. As a general public overall health precaution owing to COVID-19, the Tiny Mammal House is briefly closed to the general public. There’s tons to see at Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo! Approach your visit here.